DENVER — CH2M HILL has improved its internal environmental management systems for the sixth consecutive year. Moving beyond North American offices and developing a system to quantify the reduced impacts of the firm’s sustainably designed, constructed, and operated facilities were priorities for 2010. Building on the success of its six-year-old ISO-conformant North American Environmental Management System (EMS), CH2M HILL assisted two new geographies with EMS development: London, England, and the Middle East-North Africa Region (Australia certified its own EMS program in 2007).

Sustainability is woven into CH2M HILL projects; however, two notable programs were created in 2010 to further track the impact of the firm’s work on client projects. A green building database is providing a more robust tracking mechanism for sustainability success. Based on initial reports, CH2M HILL is helping clients save 8.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity, 310,000 therms of gas, and 36.3 million gallons of water annually.

Implementation of a sustainability pilot program for municipal operations and maintenance clients has resulted in 5,634 tons of waste diversion, 2.1 billion gallons of effluent re-use, and $1.2 million of documented savings.

CH2M HILL’s EMS goals focused on four primary areas: materials and equipment, facilities management, energy and greenhouse gases, and travel and transport. Key accomplishments in 2010 include:

  • Offsetting 20 percent of North American facilities’ energy use and carbon footprint
  • Leasing 23 percent of North American office space in Energy Star office buildings
  • Providing recycled and materials re-use programs in all offices
  • Reducing leased square footage by 6.5 percent through teleworking and mobile workforce development programs
  • Increasing teleworkers by 29 percent, decreasing energy use and commuting impacts
  • Increasing use of recycled paper to 85 percent of paper purchased
  • Decreasing overall paper use by 49 metric tons from 2009 to 2010

In 2011, the team will work with staff to further reduce paper use and increase recycled paper purchasing, procure environmentally preferable products and services, increase the number of teleworkers, and reduce the firm’s carbon footprint. A new focus for 2011 will be monitoring and reducing the firm’s water use, both in owned and managed facilities, and in collaboration with clients.